With more ties than victories in league play, Palo Alto boys' soccer coach Don Briggs was hoping for a break when his squad took on first-place Mountain View in a SCVAL De Anza Division match on Wednesday.
The Vikings did finally get a break, but it wasn't the one the Vikings were looking for.
Junior goalie Kris Hoglund suffered a broken leg during a collision in the first half of Palo Alto's 2-2 deadlock with the Spartans. He will be lost for the remainder of the soccer season and most likely will miss the lacrosse season, as well.
Hoglund, last season's leading scorer for Paly, had been sharing time in goal with Austin Shiau, who also is injured. After Hoglund was hurt, senior Tony Panayides traded in his game jersey for the goalie jersey and helped keep the Vikings (2-0-4, 6-2-5) in the game. It was Paly's fourth straight tie in league play and second in two days, following a 1-1 match with Los Gatos on Tuesday.
"This was a tough game for Paly, having played a physical game with Los Gatos," said Paly coach Don Briggs. "Paly started the game with four subs and ended the game with only two players available (off the bench) after injuries to Hoglund and Peter Laminette."
Mountain View took the lead in the second half on a direct-kick deflection off Panayides. Palo Alto made it 1-1 on a direct kick by John Richardson. The Spartans regained the lead in the final 10 minutes when a hard cross was slightly deflected by a Paly defender and went into the upper corner. Paly got the game-tying goal when Austin Smith flicked a header to James Maa, whose header found the net.
"Gerritt Van Zyll did an excellent job of organizing the defense with two starting backs also injured an unable to play," Briggs said of his junior center back.
In another SCVAL De Anza Division match, visiting Gunn dropped a 2-1 decision to Los Gatos. The Titans fell to 1-3-2 in league (2-7-4 overall).
In the West Bay Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep maintained its hold on first place with a 7-1 victory over host Crystal Springs on Wednesday.
The Gators (6-0-1, 11-0-1) got two goals from sophomore Willy Lamb and one each from Jack Odell, Will Mishra, Max Polkinhorne, Andrew Liotta and Robert Ojeda while Christian Thaure and Liotta each had a pair of assists. The Gators now have outscored the opposition this season, 54-7.
In other WBAL action, Priory edged Harker, 1-0, while Eastside Prep (1-4, 3-7-1) dropped a 1-0 decision to host King's Academy.
In the PAL Bay Division, Phillip Witham scored an unassisted goal in the second half to lift host Menlo-Atherton to a 1-0 victory over Westmoor. The Bears improved to 5-1-1 in league (7-2-2 overall) and remained just two points behind first-place Burlingame (6-1) in the division race.
The Gunn girls' soccer team battled defending SCVAL De Anza Division champion Los Gatos to a scoreless draw on Wednesday evening. The Titans moved to 1-3-2 in league and 6-4-4 overall. Gunn had two good chances to score, one a cross from Bonnie Cardillo that Hal Moalem nearly finished. The other came on a breakaway by Sarah Robinson that nearly found the net.
"It was a team effort," said Gunn coach Damian Cohen. "Everyone played excellent games, played stellar defense, and combined nicely in the attack. We have played back-to-back excellent games (Gunn tied Sacred Heart Prep on Saturday) and thus are starting to find a groove and consistency."
The scheduled SCVAL De Anza Division match between Mountain View and host Palo Alto was postponed when no referees were available.
Sophomore point guard Riya Modi returned after missing the five previous games, sparking Castilleja to a 46-39 nonleague victory over host St. Francis-CCC in Watsonville on Wednesday night. Modi scored eight points with five assists and two steals in her return from an ankle injury. During her absence, the Gators lost four of five games.
Castilleja (10-8) grabbed a seven-point halftime lead, which held up for the final margin as the teams matched each other the rest of the way. The Sharks did get to within four points late in the fourth quarter before Abby Thornburg scored on a layup for the Gators.
Senior Natasha von Kaeppler led the victory with 21 points and 17 rebounds, surpassing Nikki Perlman as the school's all-time leader in defensive rebounds in addition to becoming the third player in school history to score at least 1,500 career points. Senior Laura Rose added 10 rebounds and six points as Castilleja improved to 152-9 all-time while holding opponents under 40 points.
Trailing by 12 points in the third quarter, Menlo-Atherton rallied for a 56-55 victory over visiting Woodside on Wednesday in PAL Bay Division action. Senior Marquise Tolson scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to go along with with six rebounds and three assists for the Bears (3-2, 10-9), who now have won back-to-back games for only the third time this season.
Tolson hit two free throws with under a minute to play for the winning margin.
Michael Culhane had 11 rebounds plus eight points for M-A, which trailed by seven at halftime but scored 37 points in the second half.
McKinley Mathon hit a trio of three-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 13 points and seven rebounds while Myles Brewer also scored 13 points while sparking the Bears' comeback.